Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has left Leon Balogun out of his Europa League squad for Thursday’s clash with Willem II – while Ryan Jack and Kemar Roofe are included for the trip to Holland.

Balogun was on the bench for the weekend draw with Hibs at Easter Road and has struggled with some niggly injuries since his last appearance against St. Johnstone last month.

Aberdeen v Rangers - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 01: Connor Goldson and Leon Balogun of Rangers in discussion during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Aberdeen and Rangers at Pittodrie Stadium on August 01, 2020 in Aberdeen, Scotland. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors.

(Photo by Willie Vass/Pool via Getty Images)

The defender’s omission from the squad would suggest he’s still not close to full fitness – despite being on the bench at the weekend – and will raise some concerns for supporters.

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Jack and Roofe both missed the trip to Easter Road with calf injuries and were expected to be out for a few weeks so there may be some positive news to come on that front over the next 48 hours.

Balogun missing out means it is almost certain that Gerrard decides to go with Fil Helander and Connor Goldson in central defence against the Dutch side as the Gers look to book their place in the playoff round.

Rangers v Dundee United - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Kemar Roofe of Rangers celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Dundee United at Ibrox Stadium on September 12, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Jack and Roofe’s inclusion could just be a bit of a curveball by Gerrard but if either (or both) are fit to play a part it will give Rangers more options tactically.

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The winners will face either Galatasaray or Hajduk Split in the playoff round as Gerrard’s side aim for a third successive season in the Europa League group stage.

Rangers Europa League squad in full:

Allan McGregor

Jon McLaughlin

Andy Firth

James Tavernier

Calvin Bassey

George Edmundson

Filip Helander

Connor Goldson

 

Borna Barisic

Ianis Hagi

Ryan Jack

Steven Davis

Glen Kamara

Greg Stewart

Scott Arfield

Ryan Kent

Jordan Jones

Jermain Defoe

Alfredo Morelos

Cedric Itten

Kemar Roofe

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